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The Manufacturer’s Juggling Act

Published: May 20, 2018

Manufacturing accounts for more than 10 per cent of Canada’s growth in GDP and employs 1.7 million people. Vulnerable not only to demand fluctuations, but also to factors such as oil prices, the strength of the dollar, and more, companies operating within the manufacturing industry have it pretty tough.

Competition is fierce, and there is enormous pressure to keep things on track, on time, and within budget. With labour usually forming the most significant variable cost of production to a manufacturer, it is one of the most critical costs to keep in check.

It is no longer enough to submit your RFP, win a contract, and start working on the job with your fingers crossed that you’ll be able to achieve what you promised your clients and make a profit. It is no longer enough to wait until the job is completed to reflect back on how your organization performed.

Manufacturers need to have a proper handle on a variety of factors in real time, and monitor them as the job progresses. A variety of factors have a profound impact on the profitability of a company, and how your products and jobs are priced. Here are a few numbers floating about that manufacturers need to factor in:

How many hours have similar jobs taken in the past? What was the average?

How many hours will clients be charged for?

How many hours are each of the tasks actually taking employees when they start working on the jobs? Are things on track compared to what was achieved in the past?

When does the job need to be completed by? What is the priority of the various jobs in the pipeline? Do I have enough manpower to manage competing priorities?

This is where the Mitrefinch Time Allocation System (TAS) can make a major difference – especially when incorporated with your existing ERP software. Mitrefinch TAS gives the right insights to allow you to make better and more accurate calculations of production costs and thus aid with client quotations and billing. Employees can clock in and out of different client jobs you might have going on, and the individual tasks required to complete the jobs. Supervisors and managers can view the data in real time to ensure jobs and tasks are running on time, and within budget.

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